(Originally posted on PrattTribune.com - Written by Gale Rose)
The high kicks, costume and music will leave no doubt that Miss Kansas Outstanding Teen Stevie Mack really does want to be a Rockette.
When Mack takes the stage for the talent portion of her Miss America’s Outstanding Teen pageant in Orlando, Fla., her dance to “I Wanna be a Rockette” is more than a well-choreographed dance number, it is her goal in life.
Mack got to live the life of a Rockette for a brief time this summer when she was invited to take part in the Rockette Intensive Invitational Camp with the world famous Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, said Lisa Ronen, Miss Kansas Outstanding Teen pageant director.
Mack was one of 1,000 hopefuls that auditioned for the camp. She lives so far away that she sent in a video of her dancing ability. In March she found out she was one of 70 chosen for the camp and in June traveled to New York City to Radio City Music Hall to work with the Rockettes.
She was one of the youngest in the camp but she learned a Rockette number and danced on the Radio City Music Hall stage, Mack said.
The camp was intense. The participants danced for eight hours a day with the dance assistants and the Rockettes.
“It was emotionally exhausting,” Mack said. “I worked with 70 girls with the same passion and same dream. I learned about being focused and being driven and being passionate about what you want to do with our life.”
Although she was one of the youngest, her ultimate dream of becoming a Rockette took a very important step during those days in June.
“It was so close to being a Rockette. It was awesome,” Mack said.
Mack will put her training in New York to good use as she prepares for MAOT. She is dancing every day to improve her technique. She needs to practice hard because the contestants have to learn four production numbers before they go to the competition.
With 53 contestants and limited time at the pageant, contestants have to have the production numbers ready when they arrive, Ronen said.
Her talent number will be the same as it was in June at the Miss Kansas Outstanding Teen Pageant in Pratt. Although they have worked on enhancing her hair, stoning the outfit to make it look more like a Rockette costume, Ronen said.
She is also practicing walking in her evening gown and in heels so she will be confident on the stage. She is also lifting weights, doing lots of Yoga and working on an elliptical to get her heart rate up.
All this extra effort is necessary not only for competition but to help Mack handle her scoliosis. She was told at age 13 she would have to wear a brace for 22 to 23 hours a day but she wanted to dance and said she would find another way.
That way includes doing a lot of yoga and eating healthy. Some times it is hard for her to move but she refuses to let it dominate her life, Ronen said.
Her battle with scoliosis is also the basis for her platform “Embrace The Future.” As she embraces her future, she has started a bracelet program to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network.
The bracelets say em-BRACE the future and it stands for Believe Research Advance Conquer Encourage.
“Those are simple words anyone can use to overcome adversity,” Mack said.
Through her bracelet program she has raised over $6,500 for Children’s Miracle Network. She raised over $500 in change at a summer dance camp her mother sponsored.
Former Miss Kansas Becki Ronen is helping Mack pick out her wardrobe and prepare her for the pageant.
Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant will run from August 14 to 18 in the Orange County Convention Center and Rosen Center Hotel.
Mack is one of 53 contestants in the event. She has interview and competes in sports wear on Tuesday Aug. 14. Her Talent competition is Wednesday, Aug. 15 and on Thursday Aug. 16 she competes in evening wear and has her on-stage question.
Ronen and Mack will leave Wichita Mid Continent Airport at 6 a.m. on Aug. 10 and arrive in Orlando at 11:30 a.m. They will return Aug. 19.
Pageant information is available at www.maoteen.org
Messages of encouragement can be sent to
The contestants are not allowed to have cell phones or cameras at the pageant but gifts and encouragements can be sent to:
Miss Kansas Outstanding Teen Stevie Mack,c/o Rosen Centre Hotel9840 International DriveOrlando, Fla. 32819-8122.
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